The Virginia Tech University scientist who blew the whistle on the contaminated water scandal in Flint Michigan is telling a conference in San Antonio that Flint 'is just the beginning,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Dr. Marc Edwards is in San Antonio speaking to the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society.
"We've got thousands of Flints out there," he said. "I think the only thing unusual about Flint is the malevolent actors got caught and people cared."
Dr. Edwards and his students pointed out that, when the State of Michigan began using water from the Flint River while the water system was under state management in 2014, it failed to properly treat it for corrosion, allowing toxic lead to seep into the drinking and bathing water system. Several children suffered health problems and one elderly man died.
The incident is not forgotten in Michigan, and was referenced in this month's Miss America competition by Emily Simoa, Miss Michigan.
Dr. Edwards is telling the Society, which is a gathering of scientists who study the impact of the environment on human health and development, that the trendy and populist disdain for so called 'elites' has led to situations like the crisis in Flint, by damaging America's faith in science.
"What if we can't trust our science agencies, what if we can't trust our government institutions," he said. "It is going to end badly, and I think we're on the threshold of that."
The title of Dr. Edwards' speech is 'The Flint Michigan Water Crisis, a Failure of Government at All Levels Reveals What a New Dark Age Would Look Like.'
He says he is worried that the growing contempt that Americans have against politicians of both parties has begun to morph into a contempt and distrust of government in general, with references to things like 'The Deep State' and 'Q-Anon,' which are said to be evil, rapacious career government bureaucrats and scientists who are perverting government for financial or political gain.
"We are hunting truth-speakers to extinction," he said. "Those who are willing to speak out and do the right thing, they are attacked by this tribal culture that we have."
He says the best way Americans can fight back and allow science, which brought us the modern world, to continue to make the lives of Americans better is to 'bring out the scientist in all of us,' to avoid 'tribalism' and to be unafraid to speak out about lapses like the people of Flint had to deal with in 2014.
PHOTO OF DR. EDWARDS COURTESY OF DR. EDWARDS